Bee stings and Epi-Pens

Q: My 10-year-old daughter is highly allergic to bee stings and has been prescribed an Epi-Pen to use if she ever gets stung. How can I help her overcome her fear of having to use this shot?

A: Practice, practice, practice. If it’s been a while since you received this prescription for your child, you may want to check with the office that prescribed it to review the proper technique of injecting — and self-injecting — for your daughter’s sake.

Practicing on a regular basis with a mock Epi-Pen is a good way to help minimize the fear.

As her parent, you definitely want to know how to give her an injection correctly because many times this responsibility will end up falling on a nearby adult.
Severe life-threatening allergic reactions to bee stings thankfully are uncommon, but do need to be taken seriously.

Fortunately, there are now ways to help some children and adults become desensitized to bee stings through a series of allergy shots. This may be something that you want to check with your allergist, if you’ve not already done so. If necessary, ask for a referral for an allergist from your primary care provider and confirm that the allergist is covered under your health benefits plan.

This column is intended to provide general information only and not medical advice. Contact your health care provider with questions about your child. Dr. Peter Dehnel is a board-certified pediatrician and medical director with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Send questions to